As a busy construction business owner or contractor, you may not always feel the urgent need to have your own website or to refresh/upgrade an existing one.
Construction is one of the strongest backbones of the US economy. It comprises more than 650,000 employers and employs more than 7 million workers. Industry expenditures top 1200 billion dollars and revenues are estimated to cross $1.7 trillion annually.
But with the nature of the business moving further away from the handshake deals and referral models of an earlier era, it’s crucial for modern-day construction businesses to stay in sync with current trends and have top quality construction websites.
Do You Really Need A Website?
- There are nearly 3.5 billion Google searches made every day
- 35% of these are product searches
- Nearly 50% of people view and read website content before talking to a company rep
- Local businesses must have a website that’s optimized for neighborhood search results
A business website is a must-have element for a construction business, no matter how big or small, start-up or legacy.
Many may not really see the need because they feel that most of their business comes via recommendations and referrals. However, in this digital age, unless you have a website, you could lag behind the competition.
This is the age of technology and advanced automation, and it’s vital that you have a well-established, reliable and easy to find an online presence.
Credibility: A website also serves to establish your credibility and brand. Today, instead of handing out business cards, most people ask for your official website id. In fact, studies show that nearly 30% of people don’t consider doing business with a company that doesn’t have a website.
Visibility: Unless you want yours to be a boutique business, with only a few exclusive customers, you need to ensure that you’re visible and reachable. Websites help your business to acquire more customers and expand your client base.
Accessibility: Your website is your 24x7x365 marketing department, available across time-zones, geographies and location. Most of the questions that potential clients want answers to are available on your website. You can also keep a track of visitors and follow-up with emails, phone calls etc.
Connect: Websites are more interactive than you think. Today, with access to chatbots, virtual assistants, blogs, feedback, reviews etc on websites, it’s easier and faster to connect with visitors and clients.
Showcase: This is a great platform to showcase your suite of products/services. It holds your portfolio of work, videos, images, downloadable FAQs, along with testimonials and feedback/reviews from previous clients. Many projects in the construction industry come from repeat customers. Your website helps to nurture and value them.
Strategic Targeting: Instead of sending general, one-size-fits-all marketing messages, you can use the data available from your website analytics to send targeted, personalized marketing messages to your clients. This keeps them informed about new services, products, and materials, along with industry news, government regulations, etc.
Work with an innovative, experienced, and talented designer or design firm to create a website that reflects your brand, experience, and quality of work
8 Avoidable Construction Website Design Mistakes
While there’s no doubt that there are a lot of highly creative, talented website design professionals out there, the challenge is to find the right one.
Hiring the wrong designer can be a disaster in terms of not just financial loss, but it could also damage your brand and prove to be a waste of resources and time as well.
- Not Checking Industry Experience: There’s no doubt that designers are highly creative and versatile people who can transfer their talent across many genres. However, a construction business website requires the services of a designer who has worked on such designs earlier. This could result in poorly-written meta title tags, poor quality photos, inadequate information on Contact Us pages, lack of proper listing of licensing and professional qualifications, etc.
- Not Checking Portfolio of Past Work: This is a common mistake that many business owners make. You need to spend time and effort in doing your own research into the website designer’s previous body of work. This gives you a handle on what their style and substance are made of. Don’t get fobbed off by screenshots and glossy brochures. Insist on looking at real-time websites that they have worked on and talk to former clients.
- Outdated Tech: A few years ago, every designer had jumped onto the bandwagon of using Flash for animation and video. But this is so yesterday! Today, Flash can slow your downloading speeds down dramatically and prevents your site from being searchable on Google. In the same vein, check if your designer is familiar with responsive web design. 60% of Google searches are via mobile devices. If your site is not optimized for multi-channel browsing, you could miss a lot of opportunities.
- Editable: Would your website be designed to support editing? This is a question that could impact your business and revenues. Your marketing team needs editing capabilities to ensure that the information on the site is relevant, current and reflects the changes that have occurred in your business from time to time. There’s nothing more annoying to a potential client than to find that the stuff on your site is more than 3 years old and can’t be edited without the help of your developer.
- Photos and Content: While most designers take inputs from the client regarding images and content, it’s important to ensure that they blend well into the overall design. Many construction websites feature great images of finished projects, what customers would typically love to view are works in progress, pictures of your team, a complete in-process project from foundation to roof, etc. You also need to showcase the different types of projects you’ve worked on. Only a website designer with industry experience could factor these in without being told to do so.
- Not being clear about the Target Audience: If yours is a high-profile residential construction company, you need to tailor everything on the site to reflect this aspect. Keeping the design consistent and relevant to the target audience means that you can strengthen your brand and deliver personalized messages to your target audience. In more diversified businesses, keep the different aspects in separate silos, with a link to each one so that the client can certainly find what they want immediately, but also browse through conveniently. Remember also that your target audience is not just customers – include contractors, employees, talent, vendors etc. too.
- Poor Analytics: The biggest advantage that your website yields is the analytics and data that it collects. If your designer can’t ensure that you get regular reports and analytics that can help you deliver the right message, channelize traffic and turn clicks to revenue, that’s a dumb mistake that will cost you in the long run.
- Lack of Support: Just getting your site up and running doesn’t mean that the story is over. As a busy entrepreneur, you can’t be expected to maintain your website or fix problems. You need 24×7 support and maintenance, troubleshooting, upgrades, consistent stream of fresh content, etc. It’s a huge mistake not to ensure good, reliable support from your design team.